In AISA State Softball Tournament, Lady Rebels beat Clarke Prep, but eliminated by Macon East and Wilcox

Published 10:02 pm Saturday, May 6, 2017

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Cold, 53 degree, damp weather and a grueling slate of three back-to-back games, Friday, took its toll on the Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels at the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Class AA State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

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In what Lowndes Academy head softball coach Matt Marshall called a rebuilding year, the Lady Rebels won 19 games this season to advance to the state softball tournament, but after a promising win over Clarke Prep 6-5, the Lady Rebels fell to Macon East Academy 10-0 and Wilcox Academy 17-6 in two five-inning contests.

Marshall called the game with Clarke Prep some of the Lady Rebels’ finest play all season.

Emily Smith pitched all seven innings for the Lady Rebels giving up six hits and five runs, three earned, while striking out seven batters in the 6-5 victory over Clarke Prep.

Also for the Lady Rebels against Clarke Prep, Emi Gluschick went two for four at bat, scoring two runs and getting one RBI. Laiken Hussey, Avery Morgan, Hannah Till and Sasha Jaworowski all scored one run each. And Smith, Madison Boone, Katie Ray and Till all got one RBI each.

Smith pitched 2.2 innings against Macon East and two innings against Wilcox.

Hussey pitched 1.1 inning against Macon East and three innings against Wilcox.

Marshall acknowledged that this indeed was a rebuilding year. He said he had 16

20-win seasons in a row, and this team that started five 10th graders got 19 wins.

He said the team also has four ninth graders and three juniors coming back.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what we did today, Marshall said. “I think it was a battle of attrition. I think the first 12 innings that we played today were the best 12 innings that we played all year, and I think just the length of the day…, the weather…, it all caught up with us in the end.”

But Marshall said he expect the Lady Rebels to be back playing for a state championship again next year.

Marshall said senior pitcher Smith stepped up Friday and “played like a senior.” He said, “She knew it was her ball today.”

He said in the first game, against Clarke Prep, Smith gave him seven great, outstanding innings. And he said she pitched well against Macon East.

Marshall said, “The first three innings (against Macon East) we were sitting there (down) 1-0 with by far one of the best teams in the state.”

Against Wilcox in game three, Marshall said his Lady Rebels made them earn the win. “We came out and played good ball, made a few errors in this game, but I’m proud of these kids today. They battled.”

In addition to Smith, Marshall said, he was proud of senior Abby Ray and will miss her. “We did get her some bats this season, which was awesome.” He said on the year she had about 15 at bats and had eight hits.

Marshall said Ray is going to Alabama Southern and in about two year’s he hopes to see her on the SEC Network because, “Abby is a special player” who started for him as a seventh grader. “This is kind of the end of an era with her. She’s a great ball player.”

He also said of senior center fielder Jaworowski, “I don’t know if there is another kid on the team that worked as hard as her to come from where she was to where she is now.”

Marshall said he was proud of all three seniors who stepped up and led.

The team included: 2 Abby Ray, 3 Alana Moore, 5 Smith 6 Hussey, 9 Morgan 10 Boone 15 Tristen Holley, 16 Gluschick, 18 Abby Ray, 19 Emma Casey, 21 Anna Janes, 23 Till, 24 Jaworowski and 25 Hannah Freeman.